The Unsolvable Dilemma of a Paretian Policymaker
University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE); Tinbergen Institute
Nuno M. Garoupa
Texas A&M University School of Law; Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law
Supreme Court Economic Review, Forthcoming
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 04-52
In this paper, we argue that social decisionmaking is subject to a fundamental conflict between consistency and completeness. We show that a consistent welfarist method of policy assessment, that is, one that never violates the Pareto principle, may be incomplete in the sense of being incapable of providing a solution to important social welfare problems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Individualistic social welfare, Interdependent preferences
JEL Classification: C0, D63, K0
Date posted: November 18, 2004
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